I don’t do Voicemail

I have never liked voicemail.

I’m not keen on phones in general (there is a great Medium post, Why I don’t answer most phone calls, which explains why the telephone is my least-preferred means of communication).

But voicemail, ick. Unlike phone calls, voicemail has no redeeming features.

Here are the reasons why voicemail is evil and needs to be burned with fire:
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Sheffugees hackathon

Sheffugees

This weekend I attended a “Sheffield refugee hackathon” organised by the folks at Yoomee. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, having never been to a hackathon before, and being unsure how well the fairly specific set of application-development skills I’ve been using over the last few years would generalise to building something that could be of benefit to refugees and asylum-seekers, but it was a great experience and I’m really looking forward to the next one (which should be happening in around 6 weeks time).
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Your Detox-debunking article is Bullshit

It’s that time of year when a lot of folks’ thoughts turn to detoxing. It’s also the time when a lot of other folks’ thoughts turn to rubbishing the idea that detoxing could ever be anything beneficial. As a some-time scientist, logical positivist, gleeful-debunker and proud skeptic, you might hazard a guess at where I stand on this. No. I’m firmly on the side of the detoxers.

My anti-anti-detox-bullshit detectors went into overload yesterday when I saw a friend share a Cosmopolitan (I know, I know, fish: barrel) article entitled Why Your Detox Is Bullsh*t. I’ll happily admit I didn’t read the article – life’s too fucking short. My immediate response to the headline was:
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Start Drawing Cocks

I’ve just spent the weekend with poets. At 4am Friday night/Saturday morning, I was challenged to recite a poem I had written. But I could only remember scrappy two-line nonsense verses that I’d dreamed up back in the 20th century.

Saturday night, again, everyone recited poems. And I remembered that I do have a poem, a poem that I’m proud of.

One year ago, Leki died. One year ago, I wrote this poem, and performed it at his wake. And so here – with apologies to WH Auden (but not many of them) – it is.

Start Drawing Cocks
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Learning Software Development with Microsoft Office

I was recently listening to a JavaScript Jabber podcast featuring Dan Abramov, where he stated that he got into software development because at school he was taught PowerPoint: he loved making animations, and one day discovered the macros that powered those animations. These macros were actually scripts: by changing values within them, Dan could programatically alter the animations.

This reminded me of my own route into the software industry: though WordBASIC (most of you under 40 probably won’t remember WordBASIC: it’s what Word macros were written in before we had Visual Basic for Applications).
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Sheffield.Digital on Slack

Last week at UpFrontMini conference I learned of the Manchester tech Slack. I signed up straight away, and found it a great resource for finding out about tech events in Manchester as well as networking with local developers and companies.

The next day, when I got my regular weekly #geekbrekky callout on Twitter, I thought “wouldn’t Slack be a better platform for getting this message out?” I tweeted about it and within a few hours Sheffield.Digital and Chris Dymond had a site up and running and ready to be populated. Chris and I spent a few days getting it looking nice and shiny, and now it’s gone live – please sign-up (and come to #geekbrekky) if you’re in or around Sheffield and working in the digital sector, together let’s make this a great resource for all of us!